Stephen Fleming, the Chennai Super Kings coach, is unsure of what the future holds for his association with the IPL franchise, whose owners were suspended for two years by a committee appointed by the Supreme Court of India. Fleming, however, said the affected CSK players "will be fine" and "well looked after".
India Cements and Jaipur IPL Private Limited, the owners of the Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals franchises, were suspended because CSK official Gurunath Meiyappan and Royals owner Raj Kundra were found to have links to illegal betting in India. The Court-appointed committee also concluded the BCCI and IPL had not taken strict enough action against the officials and the teams when the scandal had broken in May 2013.
Fleming said the severity of the punishment was a surprise. "The franchise message was, they were prepared for a punishment, but they are little surprised by the severity," he told stuff.com. "I don't know how the franchise will respond and what options they will have to respond with."
Fleming has been associated with the Super Kings franchise from its inception in 2008, first as player and then as coach, but now said he was "in limbo".
"I'm still contracted but it is a case of wait and see," he said. "There is so much to happen over the next few days, weeks, maybe even months. If the franchise waits out two years, does it include me or not. I don't know. Just like the players, I am in limbo.
"The players are basically on year-to-year contracts and they can choose whether to accept a new contract or not. It is my understanding, if Chennai wanted to keep them, they would have the choice of being retained or going back in the auction. You would imagine if the franchise wasn't playing for two years the players would opt to go back into the auction. The players will be fine. They will be well looked after."
Fleming said he had been "looked after very well" by the Super Kings and it was disappointing that the franchise's affairs had deteriorated to this extent. "We have worked bloody hard with that team," he said. "From the auction, to shaping a team with Steve Rixon and Andy Bichel, we have put a lot of time into making sure this franchise is successful, so to be on the backburner for two years or to see it go completely is disappointing. We are disappointed to find ourselves in this position through no fault of our own."
Fleming said Gurunath, the son-in-law of N Srinivasan, whose family owns India Cements, "was around the team a lot". "I got to know him over the years. This happened two-three years ago and when it all came out, it was a shock."